The Stable Nation of Nigeria Essay

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The Stable Nation of Nigeria

As most governments do struggle when changing over into a new form of government, with hope to better its people, Nigeria is no exception. After 16 years of military dictatorship, three republics, many riots and protests, and about seven coups and/or overthrows, the new Federal Republic of Nigeria adopted a new constitution in 1999, and held honest, fair civilian elections (for the first time in almost two decades) to hopefully ease all of the religious, cultural and militant related tension in Nigeria. Only having about twice the area of the state of California, but with over *three and a half times the population (California Department of Finance, Demographic Research Unit, from the 2000 census), and
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This angered the Yoruba, who had been struggling with the Hausa for many years, and caused riots, until January 1966, when the Nigerian army held their first coup, directed at the Igbo, leaving over 30,000 dead, and a country without a stable leader/government. Those of the Igbo culture that had survived the massacre fled to Southeast Nigeria (full of rich, moneymaking soil, starting the Republic of Biafra, almost immediately being sought out and at war against Nigeria. (Jones, 1998, chart on African History) Later in May, 1967, the Nigerian General Yakubu Gowon pronounced himself as the country's new chief, and started things off by abolishing the old three state system, and changed it to a federation of twelve states, weakening local governments, but strengthened the military's power, and the even the federal government, should the army succumb the slightest bit of control. In 1974, Gowon promised to return the system back to civilian rule, in the year 1976, but in October of the next year, there was another coup directed by General Murtala Muhammad, who held power until General Olusegun Obasanjo succeeded him, in 1976. Under Obasanjo, the constitution was
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